With projects being expensive, resource-intensive, tedious, sometimes protracted, construction is one of the most challenging industries today. For construction projects to meet quality standards, stay within budget, meet deadlines, and overall end successfully, project management– a vital element– must play its part well.
Be that as it may, there are misconceptions that prevent project managers from doing their job correctly. There are even questions and concerns about whether or not project management is worthwhile.
As a way to improve the construction process, this article outlines and aims to debunk myths surrounding construction project management.
Construction Project Management Myths
Myth #1: “When it comes to construction projects, all that matters is the final product.”
The Truth: Naturally, you’d want the project to succeed in the final structure to be something you and the client would be proud. But to reach that goal, there are many things in between that need your attention.
There are several factors involved in the construction process– some you can control, others you cannot. These include delays, contracts, weather, client expectations, schedules, and productivity. As a project manager, these are all things that you need to tend to, not just thinking about the final product.
Generally, moving forward with actual construction is relatively controllable. But the real challenge is overcoming challenges to meet objectives and getting everything in place.
Myth #2: “You don’t need project management. It’s just optional.”
The Truth: Technically speaking, a construction project can be done without any management. As long as people know what to do, then work gets done. However, the progress won’t be as smooth, efficient, and clean.
Realistically, construction projects need a project manager who ensures that teams are working, quality is up to standard, timelines are met, the budget is balanced, and the overall workflow moves fluidly. Moreover, with an able project manager onsite, expect the goal achievement rate to be significantly higher than without project management.
Myth #3: “Project management is about construction, not the people.”
The Truth: No, project management is not just about the structures. It’s true that that the bulk of your responsibility is focused on getting the building up and running on time. But as a project manager, it’s crucial that you understand people’s (client’s) expectations as much as tending to the task at hand.
From planning to delivery, you have to involve your clients at every stage– fill them in, keep them in the loop, and hear them out. After all, it is your project, but it’s their building. If you neglect to include them in the process, expect a few road bumps along the way.
More than that, keep your workers in mind. They’re not just a means to get to an end. Without them, there would be no project, to begin with. So, treat them with respect because they are the lifeblood of the industry. And from the get-go, take time to hire people who you think are a good fit for the project.
If you want some tips on hiring good construction workers, check out our articles, “6 Tips for Onboarding Inexperienced New Hires in Construction” and “What Are Some Tips On Attracting And Hiring Good Construction Workers?”
Myth #4: “Strictly following schedules guarantees a successful project.”
The Truth: Plans and schedules are critical in every project, and following them helps you stay on track, but relying on them as the sole project driver is a mistake.
Even if you plan everything to a T, you can’t expect construction projects to happen without a hitch. There will always be factors outside your control, like the weather. There will also be issues and delays, no matter how big or small.
You can mitigate risks with strong supervision. Make sure everyone is efficiently doing their tasks and stick to the plan, but prepare for hiccups. A critical skill project managers should have problem-solving skills. Aside from effectively managing conditions and contingencies (which is easier said than done), you must be able to troubleshoot problems. Also, a good understanding of the environment, processes, and materials will help you adapt to sudden changes.
Myth #5: “You just have to worry about paperwork.”
The Truth: Project managers don’t do the heavy lifting onsite but handle a lot of paperwork. Be that as it may, that’s not the only part of their job.
On top of loads of paperwork, the real work primarily deals with staying ahead of everything at stake. They are involved in project planning and resource managing. Their responsibilities also heavily include dealing with people– clients, workers, vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders. So, communication is a big part of their role.
Myth #6: “Everything must be executed quickly.”
The Truth: One of the construction’s main priorities is to get the job done as soon as possible. In fact, it’s a factor that can put your company in a good light. However, there is another that is as important– if not more important than– as speed. That is quality.
If you get things done quickly but compromise the building’s quality and integrity, this could easily damage your reputation as a project manager and even hurt the company. Consequently, a poorly built structure can endanger the lives of everyone on it.
While it is essential to follow the plan and hit deadlines, don’t rush things if it means sacrificing quality. Take the time to sufficiently plan and perform tasks well.
Myth #7: “The construction project manager should know everything.”
The Truth: One of the biggest misconceptions about project management is that project managers should know everything.
While they are essentially the lead in construction projects, it’s fine if they don’t know and handle everything that’s happening on site. Construction is a team effort. The key to success is to seek help, whether by asking experts and colleagues for advice, delegating tasks to workers, or implementing inventory management software.
By doing this, you effectively manage and cut down risks, improve the outcome’s quality, and speed up the construction process.
Myth #8: “The best practices always produce the best projects.”
The Truth: Not every construction project is the same. This means that the most effective strategies for one may not be the best for the other.
You can learn from them, but don’t just entirely use their processes and practices. Look at it this way: follow the best practices of others and you undermine your judgment as a project manager.
You are one of the only people who understand your project in and out, so you are only people to know what practices are best for the construction project. Instead of adopting what others have done, adapt. Make it fit for the betterment of your job.
Myth #9: “The customer is always right. And you always have to please the customer.”
The Truth: “The customer is always right” is one of the biggest lies in the business sector. They think they know what they want, but that’s because they have little to no knowledge of the field.
You are working for your client, building this project for them. But that doesn’t mean that they call all the shots. While they should be involved in every step, you are the professional in this situation, and it’s your job to do what you think is best for them and them and the project– even if it means doing something they might not like initially.
The Problem These Myths Cause
Project management for construction is already a complex and challenging facet in the industry without these myths floating around. Instead of guiding the project to smooth progress, project managers are confused, and they believe and practice these myths that prove to be detrimental to the process.
Despite its rough and rugged appearance, construction as an industry is dynamic and intricate. Project managers must balance functionality, safety, and efficiency that come with their experience with their client’s vision.
Unfortunately, when these myths blind people in the industry, they limit themselves to adequate or less than and hinder themselves from progressing to be better.
Why You Should Use Construction Scheduling Software
Scheduling software will help you manage construction projects, especially with unfavorable myths circulating. With project management software, you can significantly boost efficiency and productivity on site.
When you use software like Pro Crew Schedule, you’re one step closer to a smooth construction process. Because it’s cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about losing important files, nor do you have to worry about the mess of papers. Plus, you can easily share the documents with your workers and the clients even if you aren’t physically together.
More than that, scheduling in construction is made much easier with the scheduling feature. You can schedule and track worker’s time and tasks, as well as construction resources. This especially becomes helpful when you’re working on multiple projects.
Lastly, you can monitor and manage the entire project and even your business. You can easily compare the baseline of a project to its current status to see how much you’ve progressed. With that said, your time on site will be better with project management software on hand.
If you are a contractor looking for effective subcontractor scheduling software, use Pro Crew Schedule’s Software. Sign up today and get a free 30-day trial with all its features and no strings attached. Request a live demo now!